THE fine, sunny weather of the past week may have been welcomed enthusiastically by land-lubbers and, of course, by the farming community. But for Limerick’s round-Ireland sailors, Dave Bevan and Chris Egan and their minder, Gerry Hutton, it has brought its own difficulties.
“To be honest, we could do with a bit more wind,” Chris admitted from their berth in Skerries, Co Dublin this Wednesday.
But the sailors were not really complaining. Their sea odyssey, which began on May 12, has proved to be what they hoped for: the trip of a lifetime.
“It is everything I wanted, and more,” Chris, who has Non-Hodgkins lymphona, told the Limerick Leader. “It is absolutely unbelievable: the reception we have received wherever we go, the way we have been treated. It is phenomenal. You just couldn’t hope for better. It is a dream come true. Everything on the boat has gone brilliantly and we are all getting on great. We set the ground-rules and everything else just fell into place. Both men are diamonds.”
Dave Bevan agreed. “It is extremely good for the soul,” he said of the trip which he signed up for last year before he was diagnosed with colon cancer. “It has been absolutely incredible. I am really delighted we have done it,” said the Tankardstown man who had to leave the boat, the Inizi, in Mayo and travel to Cork for chemotherapy treatment about ten days ago.
But he returned to the boat in Killybegs and has seen nothing but fair sailing since. “I thought it might make me seasick, but I was delighted it didn’t,” he explained, although he admitted his legs were a “a bit dicey” for a day or so.
His last chemotherapy session is in Cork on June 13 and they hope to sail into Cork harbour for that. “I hope to be able to walk off the boat to go to that,” Dave said. Meantime, the Inizi and crew will head to Dun Laoghaire today and then continue down along the east and south east coast. The Sailing for Cancer trip is raising funds for the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Lifeboat Service. You can make a donation via Facebook.